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Deliverance from Extreme Pentecostalism – A Personal Testimony of Bethel’s Influence

Following is a personal testimony of an individual who, under the influence of Bethel Church in Redding, CA pastored by Bill Johnson, fell into error and later was freed.  The original article in four parts can be found at inerrantword.]

A Dangerous Journey – My Wife’s Deliverance from Extreme Pentecostalism (Part 1)

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 At the beginning of 2010 I decided I wanted to get involved in a more passionate “Christianity”. I have always thought of myself as a worshipper & I craved being around others who lived & breathed worshipping the Lord.

Our church had been *pushing* & wanting revival to break out. So naturally I went home one day and decided to research about what “revival” actually was and how we could get it! Through my discoveries I found out about The Welsh Revival, Charles Finney and others.

I wanted *revival* to break out in our church. The more I read about the “amazing” things that happened in Wales, the more I wanted that to happen to us.

A member of our church had been involved in the Brownsville Revival. She told me many stories about the revival that happened there & the anointing that she received from there. Whenever she went up for prayer her body would shake & eventually she would, fall to the floor.

I was curious and started looking into the information surrounding the Brownsville revival. Like the Toronto blessing, the Brownsville revival had similar manifestations of the holy spirit, and following that was the Lakeland revival.

At that time I was initially very cautious. It didn’t seem to line up with the God of the Bible I knew and I couldn’t find anything in the scriptures to back up what was happening in these places. BUT I so desperately wanted to feel God and being among passionate Christians, I thought that this was where those sorts of people were. Some of the manifestations, including the prophetic seemed exciting and it drew me in.

Despite my initial caution & a nagging feeling of unease, I started listening to the answers that these extreme prophetic people would give to the sceptics.

Here are some of the things they said/say:

Continue HERE

 

Heaven 

The Most Important Thing

By Pastor Anton Bosch

Most people, whether Christians or not, have some ideas about a future life that could be called heaven. Many of those ideas are misguided or plain wrong and, sadly, even reasonably well taught Christians may have wrong ideas of what heaven is all about.

In a recent Time magazine article, the author said that many Christians are beginning to understand that heaven really is about making this earth a better place. I think he is right – that is what many people believe. But they are wrong. We cannot make this earth into heaven. Unfortunately, that is the agenda of much of the church today. They believe that the purpose of the church is to create heaven on earth and they work very hard to change the various structures of this world.

This world is simply too corrupt, sinful and contaminated to ever become heaven. People who are trying to save the planet and change governments to create God’s Kingdom on this earth are wasting their time. Yes, one day Heaven will be back on this earth, but in order for that to happen, God will completely destroy the present heavens (sky) and earth (Revelation 21:1, 2Peter 3:10-13). In fact, the process by which He will do that can be described as “uncreating” – He will reverse the whole process of creation and the present creation will cease to exist. He will then create a “New heavens and a new earth” and then the New Jerusalem will descend out of heaven and be located back on the New Earth (Revelation 21:3, 10).

So what will heaven be like? Modern Gospel songs do not sing about heaven because their writers are looking for heaven in this creation. But if I have to believe the old Gospel songs, then heaven will be about streets of gold, a mansion over the hilltop, crowns and an eternity of comfort. That is actually how most Christians see heaven and of course those ideas are actually based on the Scriptures.

But there is one problem. All these ideas about heaven miss the most important part of heaven – The Lord Jesus Christ!

We have missed the point regarding the purpose of the church. We believe church is about worship, preaching, fellowship, evangelization, meetings and so on. Most churches have forgotten that all those things we do every week is secondary and that it should really all be about Jesus Christ. Paul put it this way: “And He is the head of the body, the church… that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18). Thus church has become a whole bunch of activities and Jesus finds Himself outside His own church (Revelation 3:20).

In the same way we have created a Heaven in which Jesus is simply a curiosity. Just like when you go to Paris, you have to see the Eiffel Tower and when we go to heaven, we will get to see Jesus. But we are really more interested in the big mansion and wonder if we will have air conditioning, a big screen TV in the living room and a barbeque in the back yard. We wonder if our crown will be bigger than our neighbor’s and if my mansion will be the grandest on the block.

Because of our materialistic worldview we have turned heaven into a place of things, houses and streets. Because of our sinful pride we have re-created heaven into a place where I will be the big deal, with the big crown and mansion and where I will eventually be vindicated.

Heaven is not about you or me, or even about Paul or Peter – it is about Jesus. He is the center, the focus and the purpose. We will spend eternity simply being in His presence and worshipping and serving Him. And here’s the problem. For the majority of Christians that is not very exciting. If God told us that heaven would be a squatter camp but Jesus would be there, would you still want to go? If Jesus is what your life is about you would agree with the hymn writer:

Oh, hallelujah, yes, ’tis Heav’n,
’Tis Heav’n to know my sins forgiv’n;
On land or sea, what matters where?—
Where Jesus is, ’tis Heaven there.

The same Christians who say they long for heaven complain when the service goes five minutes too long or the pews are too hard. Friend, if you find an extra five minutes in the Lord’s presence a challenge or if you cannot sit through a one hour service without checking your cell phone, I have news for you. Heaven will be a long hell for you!

Do you find that shocking? Well, it is supposed to be because it’s the truth. If you cannot wait to get out of the prayer meeting, or don’t even bother to go to the prayer meeting, or wonder why the hymn could not have a few less verses, I seriously doubt that you will enjoy heaven. If you find reading the Bible or attending the Bible study boring, you will be very uncomfortable in heaven.

If Jesus is not the real center of your life – I mean that everything you do and think, revolves around Him, then heaven really has nothing to offer you. Heaven is not about streets, mansions and crowns. It is about simply being in the presence of Jesus for ever and ever. If you find that idea scary, I am concerned that you will be disappointed with heaven. Actually, you won’t even see heaven because heaven is only for those who love Him with all their hearts and whose lives revolve totally around Him.

Be honest now: Are you looking forward to heaven because you are tired of this life or because of the secondary attractions of heaven, or is it simply that you want more of Him? If your answer is anything except you want to see Him face to face and be in his presence forever, then you need to check your birth certificate.

If, on the other hand, you enjoy this life so much that you hope Jesus will not come too soon, you also have a serious problem. You are probably not fit for heaven either.

Paul said: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain… having a desire to depart and be with Christ… is far better.” (Philippians 1:21, 23). His highest goal was simply to “be with Christ.” That is heaven!

Source of  Article HERE

The issue of Indigo Children has resurfaced with my dealings with Christians worried about New Age thought entering the church and its influence on their families.

I accessed a Facebook page called Indigo Children and was shocked to find how many people were experiencing manifestations…especially in the evening. I gather these commentators are not children but adults.

Here was the question posed March 24th, 2012

Did anyone else wake up last night with their heart racing, clammy hands, feeling anxious, but really tired. My nervous system was definitely overstimulated. [David]

Here are some of the unedited comments.

I woke up at 4:44, then again in 5:55…

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I’ve been wakin up for two weeks at the same time which is 2:30 covered in sweat and wonder where I am and so on

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feeling the Oneness of the same experience….only got 4 hours sleep as i too got woken up……energy releasing via dreamlands ♥♥

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uranus is enetering conjunction today so it could be some new energies coming in… ive been having some really vivid and wild dreams myself… one of them was what appeared to be alien disclosure with ships that had a rainbow crystal forma…tion on the top of the craft like a receiver almost… some ships made no sense like one of them had 1 wing petruding from the side of a tube shaped craft… others were brilliant lights… i also saw images in the sky like they were being projected.. i cant remember the images but they were very intriguing and hard to comprehend….

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I couldn’t fall asleep till 4am, woke up around 6am, feeling anxious, had the worst nightmare, and I felt the pain (my sister pinched me in both my thighs on the inside and the bruises were huge and it hurt like hell)…I’ve been havin’ nightmares for 2 weeks now…and I can’t go to sleep…what does all this mean?

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Feeling just anxious in general, without cause. I’ve been trying to meditate to balance the energy around me, but I still seem to be absorbing what seems to be in “the air.” Lately this energy disbalance, has been overwhelming and confusing.And the restless nights are just not making it better. Another night of insomnia…

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Yes. Woke up in a panic last two nights… Got up for a bit but could sense ‘a presence’ around me, so hastilly got back to bed! Can’t be doing with talking to spirit at 3 am!!!

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I woke up around 4 in the morning feeling panicked and out of breath and could sense something else in the room. There was also a red light coming from the corner, where there are no lights, or even outlets. When I tried to focus on the presence I felt, I experienced a splitting pain in my head that kept me from being able to think. It went away as fast as it started, but I couldnt get back to sleep afterwards.

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I don’t know about that, but I felt a pressure on my leg, then it turned ice cold for a split second. Then it was hot, and the heat shot up my leg. I’m still kinda wired from it…

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Very interesting reading everyones comments. I too have been jumping out of my sleep very early 2am, 3:30, 4am and many times at exactly 5:55am four times this week. Feeling a deep pressure in abdomen region upon waking. Like something has been weighing on that area. But it goes away later after waking. Interesting times. Been noticing alot of number sequences lately also, 1:11, 2:22, 4:44 and 5:55.

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The angels are speaking to you all just meditate and listen ask for there guidence and except it

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And numbers are there way of telling you they are arround u

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I know this so open up to them

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I went to bed @ 10:30 Australia time EXHAUSTED and couldn’t sleep, finally fell asleep around 3:15am after taking FOUR Valiums and still only managed 5 hours of messed up sleep, 9am and I’m trying to crawl out of bed, definitely a lazy Sunday ahead…

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Yes, it happens a lot, I need some good meditation and some chamomile tea!

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I’ve been waking up in a panic and have had a general sense of deep anxiety for the past two weeks

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I had troubled nights those ultimate days as well. I felt bad tonight and I called to beautifull spirists I know : I it was just so beautifull ♥

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It happened again last night, during the early hours of the morning. I wish I had looked at the clock. I saw an image of my fiance in my dream, only him. Almost like out of no where. very vividly I saw years streaming from his eyes then he spoke, “it is here, again. Look behind you” immediately, I jumped out of my sleep and out of bed but saw nothing. This is happening almost every night.

End of Comments

These are some very alarming aspects to what some of these people are experiencing. There are patterns of numerology, panic, sensations of heat and cold, confusion, insomnia, and presence of spirits.

The numerology can fall into the divination department as people tend to ascribe reasons as to why they see these numbers and what they mean. Unfortunately we see the very same thing happening in some Christian circles. Numbers and codes are thought to be a sign from God which are applied to every kind of situation. Sometimes people think that these numbers lead them to predict the day of the rapture. This is a deception for I have seen hundreds of failed rapture predictions.

Eastern meditation is the most common practice used to enter a spiritual realm. It is simply a method to empty the mind. Passivity is necessary to give ground or permission to the spirit world to enter or use you. Psychotropic drugs also open up the mind.

The most dangerous phrase in the above comments is this one, “open up to them.”

People do not know what they are opening themselves up to. When they do, often they find themselves oppressed by these spirits. This oppression causes the manifestations that are most easily recognized at night. Many I have talked with have experienced depression and heaviness after contacting the spirit world.

Those who do light yoga may never go deep enough into the practice to create the associated problems mentioned. It is recommended to stay away from yoga completely as it cannot be totally separated from its spiritual purpose, which is to prepare one for death and be yoked with Brahma.

Others in the Christian world have also let themselves be oppressed by false anointings, mystical centering prayer, uncontrolled laughter, fire tunnels, etc. They often experience extreme lows and depression after experiencing what they consider spiritual “highs.”

It is important for the person experiencing manifestations to accept their true source. The oppression comes from the demonic world. No good can come from them. They can disguise themselves for a time but their nature is usually made evident.

What is the solution? Jesus Christ.

Some new-agers try to hold onto Jesus partially for protection, while delving into the metaphysical world, but this simply does not work. In the book of Acts we read that when the people learned the truth, they burned all of their magic books in a big bonfire. They rejected the old teachings, the old lie, the serpent, and totally turned away from such things.

New Age teachings are just repackaged old stinky lies from Satan. Reject them, repent of sin that inflates self-love. Let Jesus close the false door that you have walked through. This false door is an exit from truth and an entrance to a hellish life of deception and confusion.

The New Age Jesus is one of tolerance and of love. Jesus is indeed love, but He is also returning as King in Glory as a judge. The New Age Jesus, says there are many paths to God, but the Jesus in the Bible tell us that He is the only way to God the Father. John 14:6

In conclusion I want to post these thoughts from;

http://www.thebereanchronicles.com/indepth_news/indigo_children.html

These Indigo children are being helped along by many witches and New Agers. As they put it,

to bring about the cosmic shift of human evolution or the new awakening of peace on earth.

They would say that we need the wisdom of the ancients, the knowledge of what is possible for humankind that has been known and handed down in all cultures, among all indigenous peoples of the planet.

Today we have children being told, its ok to contact your spirit guide. And people ask these children to tell us of their visions and prophecies.

These Indigo children, try to contact the dead. Many use crystals, occult symbols and idols.

They are being called the Star Children or Crystal Children.

They are consulting with familiar spirits and they do necromancers (one who consults the dead). Many different names are used “trans-channelers,” “channelers,” “trans-mediums”.

The Holy Bible Says:

Satan nearly always comes transformed as “an angel of light, therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:14-15).

These Indigo Children are being defined as “restless, fearless” individuals who “believe in themselves . . . have difficulty with absolute authority,” and “often see better ways of doing things, at home and in school.” They are in every country, every continent, and only a clairvoyant can see their auras. They recommend that Indigo Children attend private New Age schools that focus on individual needs.

The above is a description of a rebellious child. For REBELLION is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry,”

1 Samuel 15:23 KJV

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

What Does The Bible Tell Us

Deuteronomy 18

The passage that gives the best comprehensive list of the various Occult practices condemned by God is found in Deuteronomy 18:9-14.

“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

“For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, harkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.”

All of these forbidden practices are called “abominations of those nations” in the land and dealt with either foretelling the future or magic.

All of the practices mentioned above are forbidden in both the Old and New Testaments.

They are an abomination to God because they usurp His position as the sovereign Lord of the universe and open the door for Satanic deception, and eventually, the destruction of those involved is these things.

Several factors are involved in the reason why the Lord is so opposed to these practices:

(1) Using magic to manipulate one’s circumstances is in essence a futile attempt to flee the Lord’s ethical laws which promote life and blessing.

(2) The use of magic and divination (vv. 10, 14) is a refusal to acknowledge the sovereignty of the Lord in one’s life.

(3) Reliance on these practices automatically teaches one to trust in themselves for their destiny and not the Lord.

This is very dangerous since these practices will almost inevitably lead one into satanic bondage.

It should be clear by now that these Indigo children are if any person is involved in any of these things, even as a passive observer, they should repent and denounce all they have done before God. Turning to Jesus Christ, asking Him for forgiveness and forsaking all of these accursed practices.

[TBC: Here is a valid critique from a conservative (not Christian) publication. The evangelical writer offers a pertinent analysis and rebuke of decades of evangelical activism and social gospel marketing.]

 From The Berean Call

EVANGELICALS’ COLLAPSING CULTURAL INFLUENCE [Excerpts]

On a day when many evangelicals are perhaps flexing their political muscles in the aftermath of their decisive votes in Alabama and Mississippi, it’s worth pondering whether evangelicals’ actual cultural (rather than political) influence is waxing or waning. I came across insightful and disturbing discussions by Yuval Levin and Ross Douthat. Surveying the devastating decline in marriage and other critical social markers in the working class, [political analyst and academic] Levin notes the failure of social conservatism outside the political sphere:

“In our time, American social conservatism has much to be proud of as a movement for justice: Social conservatives devote themselves to the pro-life cause, to human rights, and to the plight of the poor abroad. But American social conservatism has almost entirely lost interest in the cause of order — in standing up for clean living, for self-discipline and restraint, for resisting temptation and meeting basic responsibilities. The institutions of American Christianity — some of which would actually stand a chance of being taken seriously by the emerging lower class — are falling down on the job, as their attention is directed to more exciting causes, in no small part because the welfare state has overtaken some of their key social functions.”

 As a lifelong evangelical, let me add my whole-hearted agreement. During my years in the pews, I’ve witnessed a moral collapse — and a corresponding collapse in positive influence over the real lives not just of our fellow congregants but also of our fellow citizens in need. Of course it’s difficult to present a compelling witness when our own practices and lifestyle are often indistinguishable from the larger culture, but the problems get more specific. Here are three:

1. We are more focused on meeting the material needs of the poor than their spiritual needs. Spend much time in the evangelical community, and you’ll soon learn that the old-fashioned Gospel-focused mission trip is largely a thing of the past. Now, you go build schools. Now, you go dig water wells. Now, you repair houses. These are worthy goals, all, but service projects by themselves don’t change hearts and minds, they often make (frequently) self-inflicted misery more bearable. Service must be accompanied by intentional, vocal evangelism and discipling.

2. We go on sinning so that grace may abound. The secular stereotype of the modern evangelical — as a judgmental moralizer — is so wrong as to be laughable. Everywhere you go, preachers reject this model entirely, emphasizing, for example, “divorce recovery,” therapy, and treatment for the consequences of sin. Again, these are worthy things, but Christ and the Apostle Paul also emphasized holiness and discipline. How often has your church actually disciplined adulterers? How often have you intervened in the life of a friend before they made devastating mistakes? Our desire to be liked trumps all, and suffering is the result.

3. We church-shop, seeking to meet our needs rather than serving the church. Church-switching is pernicious. Not only does the church “market” breed selfishness, it also makes pastors market-oriented. As you survey church after church, each doing things their own way, ask yourself, which of these church institutions will still be present and viable in 50 years? Or 100 years? Or 1,000?

 I once heard it said that following the social and political disruptions of the 1960s and early 1970s, religious conservatives decided that they had to win elections, while secular leftists decided to win the culture — and both groups succeeded. So now here we are, enjoying unprecedented influence on presidential outcomes even as our cultural foundation rots away beneath our feet. Not even the best presidential candidate will fix the family, nor will our most generous service project save a soul.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/293457/evangelicals-collapsing-cultural-influence-david-french

My emphasis in Bold.

kim

Plastic Easter eggs, jellybeans and Jesus?

By Marsha West – The Christian Post

Easter congers images of decorative baskets filled with all sorts of goodies, cool new clothes, church services, the annual Easter egg hunt, families and friends getting together to enjoy a sumptuous meal. Doesn’t it seem a bit odd that people will spend an entire day celebrating a make-believe rabbit?

Today when Easter Sunday rolls around a good many Christians spend more time participating in secular events than they do celebrating the Resurrection of their Savior. Before I move on I should point out that “Easter” is now passé. Wanting to remove the Christian origins of our language, secularists managed to change Resurrection Sunday to Easter Sunday and Easter break to spring break – all in the name of tolerance. Fortunately a large number of believers have caught on to their shenanigans and have gone back to using Resurrection Sunday instead of Easter.

Just as our postmodern culture has secularized Christmas, likewise Easter has been secularized and now we incorporate the Easter Bunny, hunting for colorful eggs and binging on chocolate and jellybeans. There’s nothing wrong with Easter festivities per se — but for Christians, Christ’s triumph over death ought to be the reason for the celebration. What does a big bunny, a basket filled with plastic Easter eggs and decadently delicious goodies have to do with Jesus?

Full article HERE

From Gotquestions.org

Question: “Should Christians celebrate Passover?”

Answer: The celebration of Passover is in remembrance of the time in Israel’s history when the angel of the Lord moved through Egypt destroying the firstborn of all people and animals (see Exodus 11 and 12.) This was the final of the ten plagues God visited upon Egypt designed to force Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave the country and their captivity. The Israelites were commanded by God to take the blood of a male lamb—one without blemish—and smear it on the doorposts of their houses. When the angel of the Lord saw the blood, he would “pass over” that house. This is a foreshadowing of the spotless Lamb of God, Jesus, whose blood would cover the sins of those who believe in Him, causing God’s judgment to pass over them. Ever since that night, Jews have celebrated the Passover in remembrance of God’s grace to them.

There has been an explosion of interest in adapting the Passover festival to Christianity. Various organizations, such as Jews for Jesus, have long promoted Christian Passover services as a means for Messianic Jews to retain their cultural heritage while professing their Christian faith. They have also used the Christian Passover as a means to communicate to Christians the Jewish religious heritage that they value. Many of the rituals associated with the Passover Seder have application to the Christian faith, and a Christian celebration of the Passover provides a unique way to bring the story of salvation to the ceremony.

Whether or not a Christian celebrates Passover would be a matter of conscience for the individual Christian. Like all the Old Testament Jewish Feasts, the Passover Feast was a foreshadowing of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Colossians 2:16-17 tells us that we should “let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (NKJV). Christians are no longer bound to observe the Passover feast the way the Old Testament Jews were, but they should not look down upon another believer who does or does not observe the Passover or other special Jewish days and feasts (Romans 14:5).

While it is not required for Christians to celebrate the Passover, it is beneficial to study it and could be beneficial to celebrate it if it leads to a greater understanding and appreciation for Christ’s death and resurrection. The Passover is a wonderful picture of Christ’s atonement for His people and His deliverance of us from the bondage of sin. That is something we should celebrate every day of our lives.

Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Mike Gendron On Wolf,  Brennan Manning  –

source HERE

The Lord Jesus Christ warned His followers, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheepʼs clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15). The warning was important because Jesus later said to them: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves” (Matt. 10:16). The apostle Paul, with tears and a deeply troubled spirit, penned a similar warning: “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29). Throughout church history these warnings have seldom been taken seriously. Christians continue to be deceived because they can not discern truth from error.

According to Websterʼs Dictionary “deceive” means “to lead astray or to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid.” Could it be the church has not only lost its ability to discern truth from error but also to discern wolves from sheep?

Consider Brennan Manning, an inactive Roman Catholic priest, who has some obvious characteristics of a “wolf,” yet goes mostly undetected. In the last ten years, he has become a popular speaker in many “evangelical” churches. Manning was ordained to the Franciscan priesthood after graduating from St. Francis Seminary in 1963. Later he was theology instructor at the University of Steubenville (a Catholic seminary and catalyst for Mary to be named co-redeemer). After being treated for alcoholism and leaving the Franciscan Order in 1982, he married Roslyn Ann Walker. The marriage has since ended in divorce but his popularity as a writer and speaker continues to grow despite his proclamation of “another” gospel.

The teachings of Manning are charming, seductive, cunning and dangerous as he takes advantage of his undiscerning audiences. He teaches that you can overcome fear, guilt and psychological hang-ups, even alcoholism, through meditation. His meditation techniques are drawn from a mixture of eastern mysticism, psychology, the New Age Movement and Catholicism. Manning gives the impression that he has a very intimate relationship with God and reports having many visions, encounters and conversations with Him. He assures his audiences that if they apply his teachings, they too can become more intimate with God.

I first met Manning at the Christian Booksellers Association in New Orleans. As he was signing autographs for his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, I asked him if his “ragamuffin gospel” followed the Catholic plan of salvation or the biblical plan of salvation. He responded, “Read it and find out for yourself.” Still trying to gain insight into his theology, I gave him a tract I had written called Roman Catholicism: Scripture vs. Tradition and asked for his comments. After looking at it for a couple of minutes he tore it into pieces and threw it in the trash.

The next time I saw Manning was January 21st at Hillcrest Church, a congregation of over 5,000 members in north Dallas. Manningʼs message was about our need for a second conversion, a conversion that can only take place when one overcomes self-rejection and gains esteem through self-acceptance. After the service I asked two elders of Hillcrest Church how they could allow a Roman Catholic priest speak to their congregation. Their response—”we welcome everyone who loves God.” This was indeed a fulfillment of Paulʼs prophetic words: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

Finish Article HERE

The following are some of the major lessons of the Levitical offerings by way of review and application:

By David Cloud

Way of Life Literature

1. Man is a sinner and is separated from the holy Creator God by his sin against God’s law.

2. Only through an acceptable sacrifice can man be reconciled to God. The sacrifice required both the blood and death of a perfect, innocent victim, which was fulfilled in Christ. God paid a great price for man’s salvation in that He gave His only begotten Son to suffer on the cross. Salvation is not by good works or sincerity or religion.

3. There is only one way of salvation. Just as the Israelite had to bring the right sacrifice to the right place in the right way, so the sinner must come to God in the prescribed way through the one gospel and the one Saviour.

4. The same salvation is available for all men, rich and poor, rulers and servants (Lev. 1:14; 4:22, 27).

5. All of the Levitical sacrifices point to Christ and the various characteristics of His salvation. He is everything the sinner needs before God, and in Christ the believing sinner is fully accepted. See 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:3. The believer needs to live in awareness of the benefit of Christ and His sacrifice.

“We need to always most thankfully receive His inestimable benefit. In other words, we must by faith accept Christ as our five-fold offering, on the basis of which alone we are saved and have our standing before God. Morning by morning as we awaken let it be with the consciousness that in the burnt offering and meat offering of Christ we are accepted and blessed of God, that in His peace offering we have the right to commune with Him, that through His sin and trespass offering every defect is remedied and every fault will find pardon” (James Gray, Concise Bible Commentary).

6. The perfection and sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice is emphasized in many ways, such as the manifold aspect of the sacrifices (burnt, peace, meal, trespass, sin), the spotlessness of the sacrifice (Lev. 1:3), the blood sprinkled seven times (Lev. 4:6), and the continual burning of the sacrifice (Lev. 6:13). In all of these ways Leviticus is teaching that “Christ is all I need.” See Hebrews 10:10, 14.

7. Though God has provided the way of reconciliation, the individual sinner must obtain reconciliation. Each individual had to bring the sacrifice before God in the prescribed way. This signifies the fact that each sinner must come to God and acknowledge his sin and put his faith in Jesus Christ. God has provided the Sacrifice, Jesus has died for the sins of the world, but men must receive Him. When the worshiper put his hands on the sacrifice he was signifying his need of it and his identification with it (Lev. 1:4). This is symbolic of repentance and faith. Likewise, the believer must come before God when he sins and obtain mercy day-by-day (Heb. 4:16; 1 John 1:9).

8. Salvation is an exchange. Christ took the place of the sinner, and the sinner takes the place of Christ. See 2 Corinthians 5:21.

9. Christ’s life and sacrifice was a sweet savor to God the Father (Lev. 1:17; 2:9; 3:5). God testified that He was well pleased with the Son both through the prophets and directly with a voice from Heaven (Isa. 42:1; Mat. 3:17; 17:5). Christ is the beloved of God, and the believer is accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:3).

10. Salvation is not merely a matter of being forgiven of sin; it is a matter of being devoted to God, walking with Him in sweet fellowship, and serving Him. Thus, there was not only the sin offering but also the burnt offering and the meal offering. Salvation is not a ticket to heaven whereby one prays a sinner’s prayer and then lives his or her life as before. Salvation is to come into a right and intimate relationship with God through Christ as an adopted son and to serve Him as a disciple, a priest, an ambassador, a soldier.

11. The believer is to give his best to Christ. This was signified by the wave offering, whereby the breast and right shoulder of the peace offering were to be waved before the Lord (Lev. 9:21). The breast signified the passion and devotion of one’s heart and the shoulder signified one’s strength and fervor of service. Compare Romans 12:1-2.

12. The believer is to emulate Christ’s life and follow His example. Christ is the believer’s law and rule of life. While Christ is the Great High Priest, every believer is also a priest who is to walk in Christ’s holy ways and to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God (1 Pet. 2:5, 9).

“Then let us remember that we should also daily endeavor ourselves to follow the blessed steps of His most holy life. After we have accepted Him and represented Him to God as our sacrifice by faith then we can follow His example. We are not in a position to do this before. He is our burnt offering, a perfect dedication to God, but we are also bidden in Him to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service (Rom. 12:1). He is our meal offering presented to God for the service of man, but we too are to ‘please his neighbor for his good to edification’ (Rom. 15:2). He is our peace offering, making and maintaining peace between God and us, but we are also to be peacemakers (Mat. 5:9; Rom. 12:18; 14:19; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 3:11). It is impossible that we should make atonement for sin as He did, but there is a sense in which we may ‘bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ’ (Gal. 6:2)” (James Gray, Concise Bible Commentary).

13. The believer follows Christ by yielding to Him. The Christian life is not a matter merely of imitating Christ and following His example; it is a matter of yielding to the Christ who dwells in us by His Spirit. See Galatians 2:20. This was depicted by the eating of the appointed offerings (Lev. 10:12-15). The breast and shoulder of the peace offering signified Christ’s character and strength, and in eating it the priest signified that he was internalizing Christ so that Christ’s heart and Christ’s strength would flow through him. We see the same picture in the Lord’s Supper. In eating and drinking, the believer signifies his unity with Christ and His Sacrifice, both for salvation and for living.

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